All Blacks legend Andy Haden has died at the age of 69 after a near two-decade battle with cancer.
An often controversial figure, Haden, who played 41 tests and another 76 games for the All Blacks between 1972 and 1985, told the Herald in 2003 he had chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and was undergoing treatment.
He was recently sent home from hospital for palliative care after suffering a health setback, and passed away this morning.
Born on 26 October 1950, life in the All Blacks for Haden began at the age of 22 in a small New York Stadium and finished in Buenos Aires.
It was a globetrotting theme which followed Haden throughout his career as he married his sporting skills and business acumen to challenge opponents and confront administrators who ran the game.
Initially Haden set out to be a vet but when he moved out of rural Wanganui to Auckland he swapped to geology studies which fitted around his blossoming rugby life.
Haden's All Black career was in two parts, a beginning in 1972 with no great uptake until he made his test debut five years later. He listened to eight All Black coaches in his 14-year stint and at the start, was not convinced his calling would be in international rugby.
The environment changed as players gained more input into the sort of dynamic discussions Haden sees with the current All Black group.
Controversy shadowed Haden since the 1978 test against Wales in Cardiff when he dived out of the lineout and gained a penalty for Brian McKechnie to kick the winning goal.
Haden was centre stage once more in the dramatic home series with the Springboks in 1981.
Haden's management career ran parallel with the All Blacks as he traversed the globe. At one stage the agent provocateur worked for three years as a marketing agent for the rugby union.
However his temperament was better suited to making others think rather than sitting in committee rooms.
He was an agent for a number of celebrities - including Hollywood star Rachel Hunter - and resigned from the honorary position of Rugby World Cup ambassador in 2010 after a series of controversial statements - referring to Polynesian players as "darkies" and later suggesting women who target sport stars and end up being raped are partly to blame.
Haden died on Wednesday morning in Auckland. He was 69.